The Prayer I Will NEVER Pray Again

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I attempted to stand to my feet but fell to the floor as my knees buckled under the pressure. I grabbed frantically at anything in an attempt to steady myself, until everything suddenly came still.

I surrendered. Placing my head to the floor and holding my knees tight to my chest, I was convinced this was going to kill me

Hands clasped and gripping my heart, I sobbed knowing what no one else knew:

I had asked for this!

Weeks before my heart broke – before my marriage and sanity buckled under the pressure like that of my knees – my husband and I were asked to share our story, to divulge our most private heartache with hundreds and hundreds of complete strangers.

Though I cringed at the thought of how my voice quivers when I’m nervous, my husband knew I’d do it. No questions asked. Sharing our hurts and mistakes were always worth it to us if it meant others could avoid what we had endured early on in our marriage.

But almost as soon as we had raised a hand to volunteer and share with the “class,” the nightmares began.

Each night, I found myself tormented by the same horror…

The outline of my figure, standing high atop a hill, smiling uncomfortably and holding in my hands what I prepared to share on behalf of broken marriages, men chained to secret addictions and the women who stood tirelessly beside them.

Yet as I began to speak, I strained to make out the faces of the people I was speaking to. I searched the crowd for eyes to connect to, but there were none. Only countless faces marred beyond recognition with dirt and blood. I watched in terror as they inched their way along a vast field laden with barbed-wire, I watched as the daggers tore into their flesh, causing them to writhe and scream out in desperation.

I looked on as my most heartfelt words of encouragement echoed to the heavens… unheard by those struggling… seemingly unfit for their agony….

Startled, I would awaken to the most cold-hearted truth: I had forgotten

Though I bear my own scars from my time in the trenches, I had forgotten the misery and desperation that had engraved them into my existence. I had forgotten how it felt to be surrounded by darkness and affliction – and even more, how God had rescued me from it!

So I prayed a prayer I will NEVER pray again,

Remind me.

….and God would, in what seemed to be the cruelest of ways…

By forcing me to hunker down in the trenches. All. Over. Again. – thanks to heartbreaking confessions made on one bitterly cold night, admissions that callously ripped open the wounds of the past, leaving what was left of my heart mangled and gaping… and to my demise, I had asked for it! 

Just hours before I had struggled to find words on behalf of brokenhearted women and shattered marriages, and now I was one… When I begged God to remind me, I could have never imagined He would reply by placing me front-and-center to my own hopelessness set in barbed wire and complete desperation, all while equipping me to find words for those hurting if I so chose to write through the mess.

You see, this hopelessness I have found myself in, is quite literally an answer to prayer – and because it has cost me EVERYTHING – I will do whatever it takes to make sure I NEVER forget again!

If it means I have to publicly scream, question, and beg the Lord to deliver me with every last ounce of fight I have left, I can assure you I will never hesitate to make a scene….

If it means airing my heartache, my faithlessness, and my darkest nights, so that you can see the same loving and all-powerful God is available to you in your’s, than I welcome your curiosity, and even your judgement –

Because I made God a promise to write through the mess,

…and I will be damned if I forget!

* Follow my ‘Journey Through The Barbed Wire’ 

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Home Is…

Lord, through all the

generations

you have been our home!

~Psalm 90:1

Next month, David and I will celebrate our 7th year wedding anniversary!

In our almost 7 years of marriage, we’ve lived in 5 different homes, and in 4 different states.  It’s been a true whirlwind.  We’ve hardly had a ‘normal’ life at all, probably one that most counselors would warn is a recipe for disaster with all the moving, traveling and constant change facing us.  Even so, I’ve come to internalize this truth:

The Lord is our HOME.

Our first apartment was a mile from the Redondo Beach pier, in Torrance, California.  We had 600 square feet and a one car garage.  It was much bigger than my studio apartment (400 square feet) and I was in heaven having a home for us.  We unpacked all those wedding gifts and squished a queen sized bed into that tiny bedroom, only to have to move a short 10 months later.

We moved to Vancouver, Washington into a huge 2 bedroom apartment with two full bathrooms!  I met one of my best friends there, learned how to be married away from family, and we bought our first house together….

In Tualatin, Oregon.  We moved across the river to the hippy side, to the smallest in a beautiful neighborhood. We brought home our baby girl to this house, had birthdays and housewarmings and baby showers and movie nights and goodness, just lots and lots of fun in that house.  It will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Three years after buying that special house, we moved again.  This time clear across the country, to Caldwell New Jersey.  It was a year of learning how to be a stay at home mom, making new friends, experiencing a completely different culture and having my husband home more than I’d ever had before.  It was a beautiful yet hard and refining adjustment.  Then our landlord sold the house we rented, so we moved yet again…

To Lincoln Park, New Jersey.  This town is probably most known for the flooding that took place during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.  We decided to take that risk, because how many hurricanes can Jersey take, really?! 🙂  I’m still crossing my fingers it won’t flood.  So far, so good.  Except for my car…  But that wasn’t even in our city!

As I look back, the landscape has changed so much.  The size, the culture– EVERYTHING is different about each place we’ve lived in.  But one thing has remained constant, and He has never changed and has provided, protected and proved himself faithful throughout every. single. move.  He will again, I’m sure of it.

I know we won’t live in Lincoln Park for much longer (remember my interesting landlord? Well, he’s gotten even more interesting and I’m not sure we can take it!).  I do know that no matter where we go, the Lord is our Home and He is perfect.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!  I’m off to play and keep my baby girl on a day off from work, and hopefully clean a little and bake this rainy day away too.  

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Babies Don’t Keep

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The foliage in New Jersey is beautiful in the fall.  It was beautiful in Oregon, not too apparent in southern California, but absolutely gorgeous here in the northeast!  The trees are just beginning to turn colors in the park down the street from my house.  Every morning Maya and I walk around the path three or four times to get our exercise in and for the fresh air– and take in the beauty.  I found something I love about this place!  Fall!

A few weeks ago I also started working from home.  With another winter coming up, I knew I’d need something for myself to keep me sane.  We decided I’d give it 90 days to see if it was a good fit for our family, and the jury’s still out.  It’s been two years since I’ve worked full time!  Working 40 hours in addition to being a wifey and mama is a lot.  It’s made me remember this:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow

For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow,

So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep

I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.

Author: Unknown

Cheers to rocking our “babies” often. 🙂

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Play Today

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I hope my children look back on today

And see a mother (or father) who had time to play.

There will be years for cleaning and cooking (and working!)

For children grow up while we are not looking

~source

As the hustle bustle of the holiday season approaches, may we not forget to play!  If you don’t have children, play with your spouse.  If you don’t have a spouse, play with friends!  Stop…  Breathe…  Enjoy…

Play today.

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